Discussing Life As A Creative Person

Project

From the gallery to the city, Brian’s work explores mediums as those of collage, painting and animation. From large scale works to small scale, the relationship between these is continuously considered whilst trying to address larger contemporary issues. Oscillating between artists and curator, Brian also hosts a ‘Sound and Vision’ podcast, conversations with fellow artists and musicians on the creative process, ‘discussing life as a creative person.’

Interview

Who influences you graphically?

Graphically, I would say Archigram, Ghostly, Blue Note, Ukiyo-E,Tufte, Supergraphics, MK-12 and many others.

How has your worked developed since your early years as an artist?

I think my process evolves slowly over time through the act of working. I have learned many things in both painting and animation through the years of making. For me it’s definitely the slow change over time as opposed to quick drastic turns in the studio.

You explore a variety of mediums from the analogue canvas and collage to the digital animation- how does one ‘practice’ influence the other? Do you have a preferred medium?

I let them bleed into each other. I will often use physical techniques of painting into the process of animation. Conversly, I let certain movement and effect influence future paintings. I don’t really have a favorite method. I definitely appreciate that just when i’m tired of one method, I can turn to another.

From the scale of the city to that of the gallery how do you work between these two?

I enjoy making work with the venue in mind. Any space I am working for, either large or small, I let influence how I think of the work for the space. I really enjoy the diversity that animation offers in displaying the work.

What are the biggest challenges and aspirations when thinking of a piece which will be shown in public spaces, as for example at Art Basel and Times Square?

I suppose the biggest challenge, yet advantage, is speaking to a multitude of viewers with may different levels of art appreciation.

Your canvases vary quite dramatically in scale, what defined the ‘size’ of a piece?

The size is really dependent on the image and also the relationship between other work that I will be making and showing the piece with. Scale has become very flexible for me, which is funny because I used to only make very large paintings.

What role does your podcast play? How and to what extent do these conversations influence and effect your work?

It really enriches the thinking that I do as an artist and a fellow human. I feel a great fulfillment in being able to share ideas with so many amazing artists and creative people. I think the real way the podcast affects my work is it’s constant demand of my thoughts to be nimble and acute. Being on your toes and thinking outside yourself is very important as an artist. The podcast really requires me to be thoughtful and to listen.

What is your relationship to the space of the studio?

​I have become more nomadic of late, working in Brooklyn, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This is due to my teaching in PA and my extended family in New Jersey. I also teach in Japan each summer and work there as well. I like working in different spaces. Again, it keeps me nimble and on my toes. ​

What is your take on the standard white cube of the gallery?

​It serves it’s purpose pretty well. ​

How do you see your art developing in the next 10 years?

I see it continuing to address issues in our environment/world and hope that it continues to grow and get better with each pice I make.

About

Brian Alfred is a painter and animator born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received his BFA in 1997 from Penn State University and his MFA in 1999 from Yale University. Selected exhibitions include solo exhibitions at  Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, New York; Maho Kubota Gallery, Tokyo,  Frist Center for Visual Art, Nashville; Haunch of Venison, London, New York, Zurich, Berlin; Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ; and Max Protetch Gallery, New York, NY. He was awarded a Jerome Foundation Grant; Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, and he attended Skowhegan. Brian Alfred lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and is an Assistant Professor of Art at Penn State University. He is also the host of Sound & Vision Podcast.

Brian will be exhibiting at his next solo  show Future Shock at Miles McEnery Gallery.

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